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Chaotic European weather: Will it be sun cream or raincoats this summer?

Chaotic European weather: Will it be sun cream or raincoats this summer?
By Claire Heffron
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Various parts of the continent are experiencing unusual weather conditions, so what's in store for the summer?


In the past few weeks, Europe has experienced unusually wet, humid and dry conditions.

While summer is just around the corner, countries like Spain and its Mediterranean neighbours have had lower temperatures than usual, while cooler nations like the UK saw temperatures reach record-breaking highs last month.

According to the EU's global monitoring site Copernicus, temperature and rainfall anomalies are expected to linger over the region.

So what does the summer have in store?

Data shows the UK will have a warmer than usual June.
Heavy rain has hit France in recent weeks

Mediterranean heatwave: Spain, France, Portugal

Aside from the threat of severe thunderstorms, the summer will yield periods of dry weather with temperatures generally near or above normal throughout the season.

Sweltering heat will build across parts of western and central Europe throughout the summer months.

High temperatures are expected to soar to or past 32 degrees Celsius on numerous occasions from June through August in Portugal, Spain and Germany.

According to France's national meteorological service, Météo France, the most intense heat will lead to temperatures approaching 38°C in southern France and northern Italy. The overall warm pattern will likely result in one of the warmest summers of the past decade.

The great British rainy summer

According to long-range forecasts, UK weather experts have warned that summer could be 'cooler-than-usual' with 'higher-than-average' rainfall.

The latest three-month seasonal outlook by weather agencies suggests the balmy conditions will eventually be replaced by cooler and wetter weather later this summer.

Eastern Europe: Severe thunder predicted

While below-normal rainfall is predicted from June through August, any thunderstorms that do occur will have the potential to be severe due to the unseasonable heat across the region.

Flash flooding and damaging winds will be the most likely threats with these thunderstorms.

While parts of western and central Europe will be at risk for isolated severe weather events this summer, eastern Europe will get the most widespread severe thunderstorms.

The combination of unseasonable warmth along with occasional surges of moist air from the Mediterranean will set the stage for rounds of severe thunderstorms from eastern Poland and Czech Republic into Belarus and southern Lithuania.

Why is this happening?

Senior meteorologist Dr Michael de Villiers said: “In Europe the prevailing westerly winds of summer from the cooler ocean to the warmer land have been called the 'European monsoon'".


During the summer, surface heating results in less dense air over land and a “heat” low forms with higher pressure over a cooler ocean and air flows from the ocean to the land.

A warmer than usual climate is favoured over much of southeastern Europe because of the likely persistence of a stronger than normal anticyclone in continental Europe.

On the Atlantic coast, the influence of the ocean (still unusually cool at the beginning of the summer) should maintain temperatures close to normal at the scale of the season.

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